I imagine by now most people have come across that C Section text on Facebook or Twitter or wherever you lay your social media hat. Frustrated, angry, shocked and saddened are the many reactions I’ve come across. For those of you who don’t know what the controversy is about, a text message to a soon-to-be mum has been doing the rounds and has infuriated a whole cohort of women. The text, to sum it up, says a C Section is surgery not birth. Of course, like many I have a few things to say about that.
Apparently the back story to all of this is that a Mum wanted to arrange to have a birth photographer at the birth of her child. Not a necessarily an uncommon thing, especially in the United States. The birth was a scheduled Caesarean Section, and it would appear that the unnamed photographer in question did not deem this type of delivery to be birth and refused to help this Mum out. (Bear in mind that in Ireland photographers are not allowed in theatre so this interaction did not take place here.)
The antagonistic and vile response the Mum received was enough to set off any woman who suffered complications before undergoing an emergency C Section or Mum’s for whatever reason who chose to deliver by C Section. No wonder the post went viral amassing 20,000 views in a short space of time.
I myself was outraged when I saw the post. In truth, apart from being appalled, I looked at those words in disbelief. Are there still people out there who believe such tripe and shite? Well yes, of course. There will always be ignorance in our world. Immediately, I thought that I too had to defend my daughters delivery by C Section.
But do I really?
After letting the thickness of the photographers words sink in, a few days later I too took to Facebook to show my disgust at the horrendous attitude. And a few days later again, I find that I can’t let it fade into the background of social media threads just yet and have been mulling over this post.
As you know, A was born by emergency Caesarean Section in 2013, after a scary 24 hours of consistent and unstoppable bleeding. My baby was at risk, and I potentially was too. The emergency C Section, was terrifying, confusing but thankfully quick. It was an experience I have never gone through before or since with an incredible upheaval of emotions and reactions.
I never, in my wildest dreams, thought, as the consultant sat at the side of my bed saying “It has to be a C Section, and now,” that I would one day have to defend how my daughter was delivered.
Ultimately, for us, it was 100% about safety.
Little Bean, will more than likely make her way into this world by elective C Section, which I’m absolutely thrilled about, unless she has other ideas, which is always possible. Because of the complications I suffered on A, and the bleeding I experienced at ten weeks during this pregnancy, I asked my consultant what she thought would be the best way to deliver Little Bean. She threw the question back at me and said, “Well, what do you think?” I didn’t even pause when I said “I want a C Section” and she replied with “So, do I.”
I have every faith and confidence in my consultant who expertly delivered A. I do still have incredible nerves about the impending elective though but I know it will mean the safe delivery of our baby.
But why should I have to justify my baby’s birth?
No matter how my baby comes out of my body, is it really for anyone else to judge? Since C Sections became an increasingly more common way for baby’s to be born, women have heard, on repeat, that they “took the easy way out” or “didn’t give birth”.
Trust me, as a c section mum, I’ve had guilt, depression, confusion and sadness over my daughter’s birth, coupled with happiness, thankfullness, contentedness and indebtedness to my consultant. And I blame quite a lot of these mixed emotions on society and the irreverant attitude some have towards delivery in this way. No, I did not give birth naturally, but my body went through hell and back to deliver my baby.
I suffered the nine months, I cried the night before she was delivered and I held her so close the second she came out of me. I had a tough, long recovery but I was there for her every second of the day as I dealt with pain and emotional issues. No one, no one in the world, can take away the fact that I gave birth to her.
Interestingly, I came across a Facebook post from Writer and Producer, Maia Dunphy, who blogs at The M Word (check it out you’ll love it), and I couldn’t agree more with her. The argument is old now. We’re all sick of it. Why should it even be discussed anymore?
I don’t want to spend the next year, justifying Little Bean’s birth. So here it is – I gave birth the first time by C Section and I will give birth the second time by C Section. I will never have a vaginal birth but that makes me no less a mother than the woman beside me who delivered her babies naturally. My sister has four beautiful children, all born naturally, and I am as much a mother as she is, regardless of how we tell our birth stories.
A mother is the woman who raises those children, loves those children and who spends years agonising and worrying about their future.